KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- There’s been a steep decline in air travel since March, but now those numbers are jumping back up for the holidays.
KCI is expecting 180,000 people to come through the airport this week.
“Well, that’s scary,” said Yancy Davis, who is traveling to Texas to visit a friend. “You just have to be extra careful that’s all. Stay masked up, keep your sanitizer. I think I’ll be okay.”
Davis said she plans to come back to Kansas City on Thanksgiving Day to avoid increased traffic at the airport.
The Kansas City Aviation Department said it does not encourage travel, but airport staff are doing all they can to keep travelers safe.
"There's a pandemic, and the CDC suggested people don't travel by air, or at all right now," said Joe McBride, spokesman for the Aviation Department. "But we're not going to close the doors. If you want to travel, need to travel, the airport is there for you."
The CDC says the best way to celebrate Thanksgiving is at home with people who live under the same roof as you.
If you are traveling, like 50 million other Americans are expected to the CDC says to take precautions.
These recommendations are listed on their website:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel.
- Always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, and when around people who you don’t live with.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- Know when to delay your travel.
Travele Judon and Mac Red were working in Kansas City this week but are now on their way back to Chicago for the holiday.
Mac said he isn’t worried about bringing the virus home.
“I’m going to sanitize completely before I walk in the door,” Mac said. “I’m going to dip myself in sanitizer and then walk inside.”
He is having a virtual Thanksgiving, like the CDC recommends.
AAA said based on their October predictions, 50 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving – a drop from 55 million in 2019. AAA expects the actual number of holiday travelers will be even lower because many people have changed their plans.
“Yeah, it’s actually like we live in this time warp,” Travele said. “It’s kind of scary, but I’m excited to see everybody getting back to it.”
AAA said air travel is expected to be down 48 percent compared to 2019. People traveling by car is expected to be down only five percent.